Friday, October 31, 2008

Julie London: The Good Life

They've been playing this as the background for a British Airways commercial lately. Which reminds me---I haven't been working on my London website for way over a year now. Joan sucks up all the time and attention! (Of course.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'd love to turn you on

Dusty doing her 1969 hit "Son of a Preacher Man" in 1979, at the Royal Albert Hall.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dusty Springfield: Wishin' and Hopin'

Look, especially, at the cutaways. She's amazing! (Note to ex-lover Carole Pope: If Dusty Springfield wanted to drag her drunk ass home at 6 a.m.... OK, some people should get a little slack just because they're...DUSTY SPRINGFIELD!) ;)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oak Trees

This afternoon I had a hard nap---a really hard sleep with some hard dreams. I was back in Azle, Texas, where I lived from 1976 to 1983. In real life, we had some land there, with a pond, a creek, acres of oak trees.

In the part of the dream I remember, I was out in the woods, looking at oak tree after oak tree. All were huge and ancient. And one stood there with a pink garland of flowers around it. I stood there in front of it, staring and staring, trying to understand what it was trying to tell me. Something of meaning had happened on that site. I felt it, but couldn't get a grasp of what exactly.

Even as I write this, I still see those oaks. The silence of those oaks. Honestly, I think that I was dead while I was looking at them. I don't understand. I certainly have no conscious desire to be buried or to have my ashes scattered in Azle when I die. And, while I spent many, many hours out in those woods by myself when I was young... Oh. That's it, I guess. Some kind of imprinting. It was a very lonesome and desolate feeling. I don't know that I'd be happy there as a ghost. It would be familiar to me, but I don't think that I would be happy. Spooking squirrels and lost kids and leaves.

Awkward Moments in Lesbian Lore

"Can't seem to get a hold of your love.../I'm sick of being submissive when I really want to scream..."

Dusty Springfield appearing at ex-lover Carole Pope's farewell show in Montreal, 1986. (Pope's band was "Rough Trade"---apparently, according to her biography, very big in Canada. Pope and Springfield lived together for about 6 months in 1981. This Montreal show was the last time they ever saw each other. Springfield died of cancer in 1999.)

In Pope's 2000 bio, she remembers a fire backstage just prior to Dusty's going on, then Dusty's appearance as "relaxed...We started joking and it was all sexual innuendo. I said, 'Who's gonna be on top?' Dusty said, 'I'll be on top, no you be on top.'"

The song that Dusty sings, "Softcore," is beautiful.

But afterwards, rather than "relaxed," I find the "banter" between Pope and Springfield not sexy or playful at all, but, rather, uncomfortably tense, with Pope glaring at her. The "who's on top" comments come after some awkward stage maneuvering and awkward jokes about whose hair is bigger ("your hair's bigger than mine, time to leave the stage") and who wrote the song that Dusty just sang...

All of this, combined with the fact that 1986 shoulder-pads and big hair just are not attractive, makes me cringe! (Though, in Dusty's defense for looking bad at age 47, and acting weird, she hadn't yet sobered up.) I'm also not a big fan of Pope after reading her biography---though she's a Leo, like me, and I've yet to meet a Leo I didn't like, she comes across as rather shallow. Plus, in general, I hate that extremely annoying "butch act." My vote: Team Dusty.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rose-Colored Glasses

John Conlee, 1979. "These rose-colored glasses show only the beauty..."

I miss this kind of sentiment from a man. I've been in the Northeast for a year-and-a-half now... Southerners are definitely more soulful and expressive... (Nonetheless, I still like butch Jersey men! Shout-out to my gentlemanly cab-driver Tony from Wednesday!) :)

My sister-in-law once said to me that she couldn't understand how two women could ever get along as lovers---all of the ongoing angst and neuroses, etc., with nothing to counter it. I must say I agree. I don't know that a "good ol' boy" would be a better solution, but at least such would be simpler...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"I close my eyes and count to ten..."

Wow! I was looking for Dusty singing this, and instead came across Anni-Frid's much-more-powerful Swedish version:

Dusty Springfield: Sunny (1967)

I've always hated this song. What I like a lot about Dusty's version here, though, is...first, her intro! How cute is she! And then, compare and contrast the initial "cute" with her voice in the actual song, when she goes all "sophisticated woman" and "drivingly interpretive" on your unsuspecting, sluggish ass! :)

Dusty Springfield: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Who people watch onscreen

from the September 2008 New Yorker:

"Years ago a scientific study, which electronically tracked eyeball movement, demonstrated that, during the showing of a motion picture, the eyes of the men in the audience followed the women on the screen. But so did the eyes of the women."

The Snarky New Yorker

It pains me to write this, after loving and subscribing to the New Yorker for over 15 years.

In the October 13 issue, the magazine carried an article by James Wood called "Verbage," in which he mocks Sarah Palin for allegedly mis-using the English language.

In my 15 years of subscribing to the New Yorker, I've never written a letter, but here's my first, which I just sent in tonight:

I've got several problems with the ridiculously snide "Verbage" article "authored" by James Wood, in which he mocks Sarah Palin's use of the English language.

First, why does Wood insist on putting "authored" in quotes, as if Palin had made the word up or was using it incorrectly? The two reputable English-language dictionaries that I double-checked both included "to author" as a verb, with the definition being "to write."

Similarly, the same two dictionaries each listed an acceptable pronunciation of the word "verbiage" as "verb-ij" (as Palin pronounced it). While "verb-ee-ij" is more common, "verb-ij" is also correct; I'm puzzled as to why Wood would think that Palin was making up a new word, "verbage," in her pronunciation.

Finally, Wood snarkily (in the dictionary as an "informal" word) excoriates Palin for her "hazy phrases" such as "I do take issue with some of the principle there with that redistribution of wealth principle that seems to be espoused by you." Here Wood deliberately deletes the dash that should indicate the pause in speech that Palin actually made. Insert the dash where it should be, after "there," and the sentence reads perfectly clearly. (I experimented with mentally deleting the dashes in Wood's own sentences in the article; they, too, were thus reduced to "haziness" and open to ridicule.)

Such ill-founded criticism doesn't hurt Palin with non-ideologues; it just makes Wood look like he's playground-taunting rather than pointing out actual flaws.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Speaking of Dusty...

Performing her first solo hit; on Dutch TV, 1964.

(BTW: The Bay City Rollers re-did this in '76---my first favorite band, the first song I ever heard of theirs.)

"She Loves You": Bouncy Brits vs. Sluggish Swedes

Here's the goosebump-raising Brit TV version, on "Ready, Steady, Go!" Introduced by the gay (nearly-my-girlfriend) Dusty Springfield making eyes at my boyfriend John Lennon (followed up by a discussion of Brigitte Bardot and dialectical materialism---really, I don't make this shit up).

And then here's the song again on Swedish TV's "Drop In" (where the only person moving is the always-exuberant Paul McCartney). These kids couldn't even get it up for the following rave-up "Twist and Shout" while the group was standing 6 inches away from them! Thank goodness the group went to Hamburg and not Stockholm to practice! (Sometimes it's good when Germans get excited.):

Monday, October 06, 2008

1974. Dolly Parton on "Hee-Haw."

Before anyone camp got ahold of her. This always was a beautiful, sincere song. (Whitney fucked it up with her shrieking. Just as the drag queens fuck up Dolly with their own shrieking. Here's Dolly in her original country element, with the song she herself wrote, before being "interpreted.")

p.s. An interesting side-note: Elvis wanted to record the song, but he demanded a 50% ownership of it. Dolly refused. Way to go, girl!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Not-so-clean Sweep

This afternoon I was in the grocery store shopping for fall gew-gaws and doo-dads like pumpkins and such, since the weather was so perfect and crisp and I was in the mood for making my apartment look and smell "fall and crisp." There was a mutedly colorful fall flower bouquet marked down from $9.99 to $3.99, which I snatched up. And a scented decorative pine broom in the $2.99 pile o' fall things... (Yeah, like hell. It turned out to actually be $5.99.)

While I was waiting in the checkout line with my delightful figurative cornucopeia o' fall delights, the aging male hippie in front of me started getting bored and looking around... He glanced back at me, then glanced at my pine broom. Then couldn't stop glancing the fuck back at the broom, to the point of finally sticking his face up against it to sniff it, at which point he had gone too far and was forced to acknowledge my human presence.

What is that exactly?
It's a broom.
A broom? What do you do with it?
I fly around on it.
[ha-ha look, then] No really.
Really, I fly around on it!
[blank look]
OK, I sweep my house with it.
[blank look] Do you really sweep your house with it?
No! Please. It's a SCENTED broom. It's fall. It smells like fall. You stick it in a corner of your house and it smells good and makes you think of fall.
Oh, OK.[a few beats of silence, then] I just asked 'cause a lady came to my door yesterday and asked to cut some of the herbs we had growing in front. I said "sure," and then she told me she was a witch. I don't know why she told me that. But my wife does like to burn incense in the house to make it smell good.
I hope you told the witch, Help yourself, lady!

Then, mutual chit-chat about "witches" and "household scents" and the holidays and the upcoming cold weather. At the end, I promised to "fly over" to visit him.

This kind of thing can be cute... or it can tire you the fuck out!